Squiz Today / 15 June 2022

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 15 June

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Squiz Today Podcast

Time for your midweek news fix.

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

6 / 19
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Squiz Sayings

“$10 trillion”

Is the total value of Australia’s 10.8 million residential dwellings after they rose by $221.2 billion in the March quarter 2022. We’re not sure how many, but we’re confident that’s a lot of zeros… 

Wrestling with a bear, economically speaking…

The ASX 200 – the index that measures the value of our biggest listed companies – fell by 3.55% yesterday, making it the worst single-day market fall since May 2020. The losses were not contained to one sector – there was red across the board as companies from technology to the banks to mining all suffered. It was a torrid day – the Aussie share market dived more than 5% in the 20 minutes after opening, but it pulled back a bit over the day to lose $87.5 billion. That followed tough trading sessions in the US, UK, Europe and Asia that saw many billions of dollars wiped from the value of the world’s biggest companies and their shareholders.

It has to do with escalating fears that inflation will continue to rise and economic growth will stall. It started with the US Federal Reserve announcing on Friday that it will aggressively raise interest rates starting tonight following a new/high inflation reading of 8.6%. That saw analysts tip that the US will go into recession next year, which led to the S&P 500 (an index tracking 500 of America’s leading companies) falling into a bear market. That’s a fancy way of saying that a stock market has fallen 20% or more from its most recent high (and, in case you’re wondering, a bull market is when it rises 20% from recent bear market lows and heads towards record highs). Long story short, the US is the world’s largest economy, and when it falters – or if there’s speculation it’s heading towards tough times – the world follows. Here in Australia, Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe says we’re heading for inflation of 7% and rising interest rates over the coming months.

Umm you might want to check your balance because the values of the biggest cryptocurrencies are at 10-month lows… The panic gripping traditional markets has extended to this new one, leading the biggest crypto platforms to restrict activity. Bitcoin is a good example as the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency – it finished yesterday at US$22,400, which is significantly below its all-time high in November last year of US$69,000. Experts say the value drop isn’t surprising because investors tend to dump risky assets in difficult times. If only we hadn’t spent all our crypto on invisible art

Business & Finance

Squiz the Rest

The election count continues…

The Electoral Commission yesterday confirmed that former Wallabies captain David Pocock will become the ACT’s first independent senator after he unseated the Liberals’ Zed Seselja to take a spot alongside Labor’s Katy Gallagher. With 92.4% of the vote counted, Pocock claimed 21.2% of first preference votes and got over the line thanks to preferences from the Greens and independent candidate Kim Rubenstein. Pocock campaigned on climate action and integrity, and says his aim is to help “rebuild trust in politics and our institutions.” And in the marginal NSW seat of Gilmore, the Commission is considering a request from former NSW Liberal MP Andrew Constance for a recount. Labor MP Fiona Phillips finished up with a margin of 373 votes, and Constance says there are “strong grounds” for a recount.

AusPol Election 22

Queensland to launch a probe into Star

Queensland gaming regulator will launch an independent inquiry into Star Entertainment’s suitability to hold casino licenses in Brissie and the Gold Coast. It follows allegations the company enabled money laundering and other criminal activity at its Sydney casino, and an inquiry there is due to report at the end of this month. That process has seen Star’s CEO, chairman, board members and senior execs resign after accepting the company has “significant, systemic and cultural” issues. And it led the lawyer assisting the inquiry to recommend that the company is “not suitable” to hold a casino license in Sydney – a position Star is now challenging. Queensland Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman says they will “build on” NSW’s findings and that Star’s casinos will remain open for now. Star says it will “cooperate with any review.”

Australian News Business & Finance

Adios to the side salad

With the cost of fresh food on the rise and in low supply, some Aussie pubs are considering making the obligatory side salad optional to cut down on costs and food waste. Adelaide publican Simone Douglas says her venue is packed with salad dodgers, and the leafy greens end up filling an entire garbage bin. Whether it will be missed is an open question… Restauranter Frank Hannon-Tan says customers expect a side salad as part of a meal, and dietitians say reducing the accessibility of salads has obvious nutritional downsides. The major supermarkets say shortages are likely to continue for weeks, and Coles has urged shoppers to “try different recipes” until supply issues ease up. Lettuce-based products aren’t the only foods in jeopardy – popular hot sauce Sriracha is disappearing from shelves. And we can’t fathom what an olive oil shortage will do to our cooking repertoire…

Australian News

The relationship between stress and likeability at work

A new UK study suggests that showing rather than hiding signs of stress can make you more likeable in the workplace. Nottingham Trent University’s Jamie Whitehouse decided to test whether displays of stress – including touching the face and hair, lip-licking and nail-biting – might alter how people respond. After filming 23 people participating in a fake job interview, 133 participants were shown the footage and asked to rate the candidates’ nervousness and likeability. Not only did they accurately pick the stress levels of the interviewees, but they favoured those who displayed more stress because they were seen as authentic. Which is good to remember this week if you work in the finance, fresh food or electricity sectors…

Business & Finance Health

Socceroos wiggle on to the World Cup

How good was it… The Socceroos have qualified for their 5th straight FIFA World Cup after winning a thrilling penalty shootout against Peru yesterday morning. Neither team scored during the main game or extra time, but a penalty shootout saw Australia come out on top, capped off by an incredible save by substitute goalie Andrew Redmayne. Coach Graham Arnold made the last-minute substitution and the Sydney FC goalie did his thing, showing off his distracting moves that have seen him labelled the ‘Grey Wiggle’. It’s a title that’s officially Wiggle approved… The victory was extra good news for Arnold, who has been fighting to save his job after some recent poor performances by the team. It’s now expected that he will lead the Socceroos to the World Cup in Qatar starting on 21 November.

Australian News Sport

Apropos of Nothing

Internet Explorer is being taken offline today – it was the dominant way to find stuff on the interwebs for more than a decade after its release in the mid-90s. The default search engine will be Microsoft Edge if you use Microsoft’s operating system.

South African Pierre Carter has become the first person to legally paraglide off Mount Everest. He reckons ​​”climb and fly” experiences on the famous mountain are the next big frontier.

A tasty mushroom and truffle number from Rolling Pin Pies & Cakes has been named Australia’s best pie. It’s believed to be the first vegetarian pie to win the top prize, and the store’s Bellarine Peninsula-based manager Nathan Williams isn’t even a fungi fan… “I dislike mushrooms with a passion,” he said.

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

10.00am (AEST) – The Fair Work Commission is set to hand down its decision on minimum wages

12.30pm (AEST) – Labor National Secretary and Campaign Director Paul Erikson to address the National Press Club – Canberra World

Elder Abuse Awareness Day 

Red Apple Day supporting Bowel Cancer Australia 

Global Wind Day (meteorological, not flatulence…)

Birthdays for Chinese President Xi Jinping (1953) and actor Neil Patrick Harris (1973)

Anniversary of:                                                                                      • the signing of the Magna Carta (1215)                                                • France surrendering to Nazi Germany, which occupied Paris (1940) • the premiere of Disney’s The Lion King (1994)                                    • Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes being charged with fraud (2018)

Squiz the Day

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